Y’all, I’m starting a new blog post series! I love old books in general but there’s nothing I like more than browsing through old cookbooks and imagining people, way back when, using them in their own kitchen.
With this in mind, I decided to go through all the old cookbooks I could get my hands on and try a variety of recipes. I don’t want to restrict myself to a specific kind of recipe but I want to try things that are somewhat out of the (modern) ordinary.
As my first recipe, I picked something fairly reasonable: shrimp salad. I found it in an old Gurney recipe box that used to belong to my maternal grandmother. According to my research, Gurney offered these recipe cards out in the 50’s. Gurney sold electric ranges so it was only fitting for them to offer recipe cards, encouraging homemakers to use their appliances. My grandma’s recipe cards were in French, but clearly translated (poorly at times) from the original English ones.
Now, the first thing I noticed when browsing through the various cards was how alive and well the mayonnaise industry must have been in the 1950’s. I would say the majority of the recipes had mayonnaise in them, and rarely in small quantity. Now, I love mayo myself, but maybe take it down a notch?
The recipe turned out to be really good and I certainly plan to make it again for my lunches…I might just half the mayo quantity. 🙂
50's Shrimp Salad
- 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup of celery, diced
- 1/4 cup of green bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup of pickles (I used sweet gherkins), chopped
- 2 cups of cooked shrimp, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Mix all the ingredients together.
- Serve on cucumber slices.
How easy is that? Now, I have to say, while this recipe is pretty self-explanatory, some other recipes have very short instructions, making me wonder “Is this some kind of test?”. I guess most homemakers in the 50’s had some basic kitchen knowledge so compared to the very specific recipes we find nowadays, you had to figure a lot of it out on your own back then.
While I started with a very tame recipe, I plan to go deeper and deeper into weird old recipes. Just from this same recipe box, I also a few questionnable recipes including Gâteau au vent (wind cake), Pain à la viande et aux bananes (Meatloaf with bananas) and Sandwichs Chinese Delight ….admit that you’re as intrigued as I am! 🤣